'King Mo': I'm a problem for anyone in Bellator heavyweight grand prix

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_6UbIapVd_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/6UbIapVd.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Bellator’s eight-man grand prix next year to decide a new heavyweight champion is the inclusion of four fighters who aren’t true heavyweights.

And of those four, perhaps nobody faces a size disadvantage quite like Muhammed Lawal.

At 5-foot-11 and a little more than 200 pounds, he’s small in comparison to the true heavyweights in the field. Could you imagine seeing “King Mo” vs. Roy Nelson, for instance?

Granted, Lawal has experience fighting in openweight tournaments in Japan and has the occasional heavyweight bout to his credit. That includes a unanimous-decision win earlier this year against Quinton Jackson, himself part of the Bellator grand prix field.

That might explain Lawal’s confidence when he spoke to MMAjunkie Radio about his inclusion in the tournament.

“If you think about it, stylistically I match up bad against all of them,” Lawal said. “I can wrestle. I’m long. Granted, I’m not that tall, but I got a long reach. I’m quicker, and I got a pretty good gas tank. …

“I think I’m going to give all those guys problems. I’ve never been muscle in a fight. It might happen this tournament. Who knows? But I’m going to find a way to make sure that don’t happen. I find ways to keep the fight to my strengths. That’s what I’m going to do.”

To hear more from “King Mo” on the Bellator heavyweight grand prix, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 122 pre-event facts: How legendary is Michael Bisping? Just look at his resume

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_yY1EpEFY_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/yY1EpEFY.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

The UFC makes its first stop in mainland China on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 122, which takes place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

After years of waiting to host an event in a major city in China, the organization brings a card that features a former champion in the main event. Ex-middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) makes a three-week turnaround from losing the title to Georges St-Pierre to take on “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in an important showdown.

There’s not much meat on the bone outside of the headliner, but 10 fighters are scheduled to make their octagon debut on the undercard, seven of which are from China. For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s final November fight card, check below for 50 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 122.

* * * *

Main event

Michael Bisping

Bisping, 38, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Bisping competes in his second UFC bout in a 21-day span. He lost the UFC middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 earlier this month.

Bisping competes in his 29th UFC bout, the most appearances in company history. His 24th UFC middleweight fight also marks a new record for most in divisional history.

Bisping makes his 14th UFC main-event appearance (8-5 in previous headliners). He’s been main or co-main event in 22 of his 29 UFC appearances, including UFC Fight Night 122.

Bisping is the only fighter in UFC history to headline two cards in a one-month span.

Bisping has headlined UFC cards in seven different countries, most in company history.

Bisping’s total cage time of 6:03:03 in UFC competition is second most in company history behind Frankie Edgar (6:27:49). They’re the only two fighters with six-plus hours of octagon time.

Michael Bisping

Bisping’s 20 victories in UFC competition are tied with St-Pierre for most in company history.

Bisping’s 16 victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Bisping’s 10 knockout victories in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind Vitor Belfort (12), Anthony Johnson (11) and Anderson Silva (11).

Bisping’s seven knockout victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Silva (eight).

Bisping’s seven stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Silva (11), Chris Leben (nine) and Nate Marquardt (nine).

Bisping’s 10 decision victories in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind St-Pierre (12), Diego Sanchez (11) and Gleison Tibau (11).

Bisping has landed 1,560 significant strikes in UFC competition, the most in company history.

Michael Bisping

Bisping is one of three fighters in UFC history to record 100 or more significant strikes in five separate bouts. T.J. Dillashaw and Joanna Jedrzejczyk also accomplished the feat.

Bisping’s 216 leg kicks landed in UFC middleweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Bisping’s five knockdowns landed from the clinch position in UFC competition are the second most in company history behind Silva (seven).

Bisping won the middleweight championship from Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in his 26th UFC appearance, the latest into a career of any first-time titleholder in company history.

Bisping is one of six European-born champions in UFC history. He’s the only from England.

Bisping’s one of five fighters in UFC history to win “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and an undisputed UFC title. Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Matt Serra and Carla Esparza also accomplished the feat.

Bisping is the only fighter in UFC history to win “TUF,” a UFC championship and make a successful title defense.

Kelvin Gastelum

Gastelum competes in his fourth career UFC main event. He’s 0-2 (with one no-contest) in previous headliners.

Gastelum is 1-1 (with one no-contest) since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in December. He’s 3-1 (with one no-contest) in the organization at 185 pounds.

Gastelum has earned nine of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Gastelum has landed six knockdowns in his past five fights.

Co-main event

Li Jingliang’s (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) three-fight winning streak is the longest of his UFC career.

Jingliang has earned all three of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned his past three victories by decision after stopping his opponent in his first 12 career wins.

Remaining main card

Alex Caceres

Alex Caceres (13-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC) is 3-2 since he returned to the UFC featherweight division in January 2015. However, he’s just 3-5 in his past eight UFC appearances overall.

Caceres is one of three fighters in UFC/WEC bantamweight history to land 100 or more significant strikes in two different fights. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz also accomplished the feat.

Caceres’ submission of Sergio Pettis at the 4:39 mark of Round 3 at UFC on FOX 10 marked the second latest in a three-round UFC bantamweight fight. Only Bryan Caraway’s victory at the 4:44 mark of Round 3 at UFC 159 occurred later.

Caceres’ 12 submission attempts in UFC bantamweight competition are tied with Dillashaw for most in divisional history.

Wang Guan (16-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has earned all 12 of his career stoppage victories as a result of strikes.

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia (14-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has earned 11 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 10 of those finishes in Round 1.

Garcia has completed 20 takedowns in his past six UFC appearances.

Muslim Salikhov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut on a 10-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since December 2012.

Salikhov has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 10 of those finishes in Round 1.

Salikhov has earned his past two victories by first-round spinning hook kick knockout.

Preliminary card

Zabit Magomedsharipov (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on a nine-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since April 2013.

Magomedsharipov has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Kenan Song (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut following a more than one-year layoff in a loss in his most recent bout at Road FC 34 in November 2016.

Kailin Curran

Kailin Curran (4-5 MMA, 1-5 UFC) competes in her seventh UFC strawweight bout, tied for the second most appearances in divisional history behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk (nine).

Curran’s three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2015.

Curran’s five UFC losses are tied with Jessica Eye for most of any female in company history.

Xiaonan Yan (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is 4-0 (with one no-contest) since returning from a nearly five-year layoff in July 2015.

Chase Sherman (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has landed a combined 214 significant strikes in his past two UFC appearances.

Shamil Abdurakhimov (17-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned his past four victories by decision, the longest stretch of his career without a finish.

Wu Yana (9-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

For more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/2G26nwEYrVw6cq7DaMFTAE/285887”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Michael Bisping”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Listen to today's UFC 218 media call with Max Holloway and Jose Aldo at 5 p.m. ET

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

You can listen to a live stream of today’s UFC 218 media call here on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).

The call features UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) and former titleholder Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who headline the card.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, and it airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/B84CQRWMH4V4dxLzmg3uQL/285879”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holloway def. Aldo”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Georges St-Pierre: 'My entourage told me it was a bad idea' to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 217

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_w42M1q96_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/w42M1q96.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Georges St-Pierre admits there was some conflict within his team regarding whether it was wise to make his return from a four-year layoff to challenge Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217. As we now know, though, his decision paid off.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), a former longtime welterweight champ, moved up a weight class to challenge then-champ Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) for the 185-pound title earlier this month at UFC 217 in New York. “Rush” emerged with the gold via third-round submission, proving wrong his naysayers, some of whom came from his own camp.

St-Pierre’s longtime training partner Rory MacDonald said he would have advised a different comeback plan. The French-Canadian’s longtime mentor Kristof Midoux publicly criticized his preparedness for the bout, and even grappling coach John Danaher admitted to having some doubts along the way.

Despite all that, St-Pierre claimed the belt from Bisping with a solid performance, which made him just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes. That historic moment is what St-Pierre was pursuing for his comeback, and he said he relishes his accomplishment even more after what he was forced to overcome.

“What I’ve done, it’s never going to be taken away from me,” St-Pierre told MMAjunkie at a media appearance following UFC 217. “It’s something I will keep for the rest of my life. Maybe one day I will go through some negative thing in my life. I will be able to think back about that moment, and it will make me smile. That’s what it is what people don’t understand. I do this to live a moment. (UFC 217), I lived a moment.

“I feel very privileged to live that moment. It was a big risk, but bigger the risk, bigger the reward. Even though a lot of people in my entourage told me it was a bad idea, I always trusted my myself and I always believed I was able to do it, and I did it and I’m very proud.”

In the wake of his legendary win, which took place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden and aired on pay-per-view, St-Pierre said he was going on vacation before resuming business and deciding what’s next. He’s contractually obligated to meet interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a title-unification bout, but he also knows that could change at any time, so he left the door open for a return to welterweight.

St-Pierre also hinted that there’s no guarantee he actually fights again. At 36, he has only so many prime years left, and one of his biggest fears is to stick around the octagon beyond his expiration date.

For St-Pierre, the way he ends his career is just as important to his legacy as everything else he does along the way. He said that’s something he keeps in mind as he plots out his next move.

“The goal in this game is to retire on top, to not leave too late like a lot of guys like Muhammad Ali,” St-Pierre said. “They made the mistake of believing they were on top, but when you start to get a little bit greedy thinking that you’re special – we’re all human beings, and nobody is invisible. There’s no such thing as being the strongest man. When I was young, I wanted to do MMA because I wanted to be the strongest man. There’s no such thing. I realize now. Everybody can beat everybody on any given day.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/285861”, customAnalytics: true, title: “St-Pierre def. Bisping”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Before UFC-Shanghai, watch Michael Bisping's 2014 bout with Cung Le

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Before the UFC set its debut in mainland China for this coming weekend, the organization visited Macau, where Michael Bisping headlined against Cung Le in 2014.

The middleweight fight, which was part of UFC Fight Night 48 at CotaiArena in China’s special administrative region, saw Le – a former Strikeforce champion and Sanshou kickboxer – as the crowd favorite over the U.K.’s Bisping.

However, the scheduled five-rounder ultimately resulted in a “Performance of the Night” bonus and a big victory for Bisping, who was in for a grueling night of work.

Check out the full fight above.

And catch former middleweight champ Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) back in action on Saturday, when he makes a 21-day turnaround to fight Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in UFC Fight Night 122’s headliner. The event takes place Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCWH6kigogSDYNhSJ5YG4T/285725”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Michael Bisping”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Francis Ngannou's motivation goes deeper than MMA ahead of UFC 218 fight vs. Alistair Overeem

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_TdnuZz7Q_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/TdnuZz7Q.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – The biggest fight of Francis Ngannou’s young career is right around the corner, and it’s not lost on the UFC heavyweight rising star why he’s reached this point so quickly.

Ngannou, who’s fought MMA professionally for just four years, is set to take on Alistair Overeem in what is widely considered a title eliminator Dec. 2 at UFC 218 from Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. Not only are the stakes the highest they’ve ever been for Ngannou, it’s also his first appearance on pay-per-view – and in the co-main event, no less.

Through five UFC fights, Ngannou’s power and athleticism have overwhelmed opponents, leading to all five victories via stoppage. Take one look at his massive frame, and his ability seems natural. Ngannou, though, says it’s bigger than that.

“I think the main thing is motivation,” Ngannou said Monday following an open workout at the UFC Performance Institute. “My strength, my power, it’s all about my mind. When I look back where I’m from, look at my family, it’s kind of scary. I want to change things back. I don’t want my kids or my son to live the same thing I lived in my life. That is motivation.”

Ngannou’s journey from homelessness to UFC contender has been documented before. He never forgets where he came from. And as he prepares to face Overeem, Ngannou’s mother, who remains in his native Cameroon, continues to weigh on his mind.

“When I look at my family, when I look at my mom, I hope I will be able to help her,” Ngannou said. “I hope she will be proud of me. She gave all of what she had for us. That’s my motivation.”

It’s a big reason Ngannou left Paris and moved to Las Vegas this year in hopes of further advancing his career by taking advantage of all the state-of-the-art UFC Performance Institute has to offer.

In Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Ngannou  (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) faces his biggest challenge to date. For his part, Ngannou said there isn’t one particular skill he’s honing in preparation for the former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion.

“We aren’t working on anything, because I’m an opportunity fighter,” Ngannou said. “I’m not just a striker. I’m not a wrestler or grappler. I’m a fighter, an opportunity fighter. I like to finish my fight and be able to shape my skills and take every opportunity I get in the fight.”

Speaking of opportunity, despite Fabricio Werdum’s belief that he’s deserving of a title shot following his UFC Fight Night 121 victory over the weekend, Ngannou said there’s no way to keep him from a date with champ Stipe Miocic if he beats Overeem.

“Stipe took the belt from Werdum, and that was not a long time ago,” Ngannou said. “Yes, Werdum deserves, but right now I deserve it more. I win this fight, I will be the legit challenger.”

He added, “If I beat the No. 1, there’s no way to avoid it.”

To hear more from Ngannou, check out the video above. And to watch his workout from Monday, click on the video below.

And for more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_pdYhTbb0_RbnemIYZ_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/pdYhTbb0.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Dustin Poirier's neck was a little sore, but without Mike Brown, it could've been worse

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_DfFVvTyF_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/DfFVvTyF.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Dustin Poirier left a recent UFC headliner with a sore neck, but if it weren’t for Mike Brown, he could’ve left with a loss too.

Earlier this month in UFC Fight Night 120’s headliner, Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) picked up a big win after scoring a third-round TKO victory over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC).

However, to get the victory, which took place Nov. 11 and aired on FS1 from Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., Poirier had to survive a few dangerous – and painful – submission attempts.

“My neck is a little sore from getting out of that last triangle,” he recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “He locked in a tight triangle. The tightest one of them all was maybe (with) 20 or 30 seconds left in the second round.

“There’s a pass I do to get out of the triangle and I throw my head toward the lock and kind of sprawl over the body and circle my feet around. And when I did that, the triangle was so tight that my neck got put in a crazy position and it popped.”

Of course, one triangle also came with a tad of controversy. As Pettis looked to secure the hold, the referee called a timeout to have a cageside physician look at the ex-champ’s badly bleeding face. The pause in action elicited some boos, though Poirier dismissed them.

“All those people who were upset probably live in Milwaukee or have an Anthony Pettis T-shirt,” he joked. “F*ck ’em, man.”

As for his ability to survive Pettis’ dangerous ground game, Poirier, who’s No. 11 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, thanks one man: American Top Team coach and former WEC champ Brown.

“I used to have more of a pure jiu-jitsu style, but since I’ve been at American Top Team, Mike Brown has helped me round out my grappling for MMA so much more,” Poirier said. “I’m more of a top guy now. I give up less positions chasing submissions, and he’s a guy who’s really dedicated and spent a lot of time perfecting the things I was doing wrong, and still to this day, (he’s) tightening up a lot of things.

“He’s an amazing coach and an amazing guy to have (in my corner).”

Following his victory, Poirier emphatically called for a rematch with another ex-champ, Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who fought to a controversial no-contest in May. An immediate rematch wasn’t booked so that Alvarez could coach opposite Justin Gaethje on the currently airing 26th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Still, Poirier hopes to get that fight someday – and bouts against other top contenders who can help him get to a title shot.

But getting the type of experience he did against Pettis – and with help from coaches like Brown – he’s confident he’s ready for more fights against the 155-pound division’s best.

“You know, (Pettis) is a vet,” Poirier said. “He’s been fighting a long time and fighting the best of the best, so I didn’t expect anything less from him.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/oLeXGUMhkr8i7LDMVe8As8/285740”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Poirier def. Pettis”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Why Jose Aldo says we shouldn't fault Conor McGregor for Bellator in-cage melee

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_QQqb0Usl_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/QQqb0Usl.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

RIO DE JANEIRO – In light of his most recent controversial outburst, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor got some surprising support from a UFC peer and former foe.

After a Bellator 187 ruckus that involved McGregor hopping over the fence, invading the cage and confronting referee Marc Goddard, the champ had his actions defined as “assault” by a commission representative. McGregor has since apologized – or something close to that – and Goddard, himself, has issued a few statements on the matter.

Here’s footage of the melee (via Twitter):

While McGregor’s antics are not particularly shocking, this one prompted questions as to just how far the UFC champ can push things – in this case, somewhat literally – before getting punished.

But despite his own turbulent past with McGregor, one man who took no issue with the Irishman’s actions in Dublin earlier this month is former 145-pound champ Jose Aldo.

“I didn’t watch the video, but I heard about it,” Aldo said today during a media day in Rio de Janeiro. “I think it’s part of it. He’s an emotional guy. He’s a guy who – whenever there are Irish guys involved, I think not only him, but the Irish people embrace them.

“So I won’t condemn him or say he did something just to get attention. He’s always done that. When we were (on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’), too, one of his athletes won, and he jumped in there. He even tore his pants. He’s a very emotional guy too, I don’t condemn him for what he did.”

McGregor, who wasn’t a licensed cornerman at the event, invaded the cage seemingly to celebrate with SBG Ireland teammate Charlie Ward, who’d just dropped John Redmond with a hook. Ward was declared the TKO winner of the middleweight bout.

Aldo, who lost the UFC’s 145-pound crown to McGregor in 13 seconds after months of a heated promotion, went on to say he thought the criticism toward the Irishman was unfair – and that he, too, has invaded the cage at Shooto Brazil events multiple times.

“When someone I’m close to fights, I go up there,” Aldo said. “The referee talks to me, but I go up there anyway. It’s in the heat of emotion. I think there are bigger things than rules.”

After the loss to McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) in 2015, Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) took the division’s interim title with a win over Frankie Edgar and was later reinstated as the undisputed champ. He lost the belt to Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) at UFC 212.

On Dec. 2 at UFC 218, Aldo tries to re-claim the crown from Holloway after stepping in for the injured Edgar.

After beating Aldo, McGregor never defended the featherweight belt. He fought twice against Nate Diaz at welterweight and then became the first simultaneous two-division UFC champion by beating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight crown. He then relinquished the 145-pound crown, which made Aldo the undisputed champ again.

That was over a year ago, and McGregor has yet to defend the 155-pound title. Rather, he went on to compete in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. An interim lightweight title was created and won by Tony Ferguson, and McGregor’s UFC return remains a mystery.

Asked whether the believes that the time is coming for the UFC to either have McGregor defend the 155-pound crown or have him vacate it like what happened with the 145-pound one, Aldo said yes.

“He has to do this defense; he has to put his belt on the line so that he can then be the champion,” Aldo said. “So far, he’s only won the title. But for me, Ferguson has a great chance of being champion in the future.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/2JwShsPebU2wvnTkVF8khk/285739”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Jose Aldo”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

After choking out Will Brooks, Nik Lentz ready for whoever else from American Top Team

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_GlCUfNHa_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/GlCUfNHa.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – Former American Top Team teammates Nik Lentz and Will Brooks originally were supposed to fight last month at UFC 216 until Lentz wound up having diabetic-like symptoms that turned out to be hypoglycemia (non-diabetic low blood sugar), which forced his withdrawal from the lightweight bout.

It was no joking matter. And yet, it made him the target of trash talk by Brooks and others at ATT.

That didn’t sit well with Lentz, who submitted Brooks with a guillotine choke on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 121 from Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.

“This is one of the first times that I’ve had, like, a serious medical issue, and my old team threw it in my face,” Lentz told MMAjunkie after his win, which aired during the FS1 prelims. “Like, ‘Hey, you’re running, you’re scared.’ Not one of them even messaged me to check on me or anything. And I have to admit that hurts. That’s supposed to be my family.”

You can imagine just how satisfying the win was for Lentz, who explained why he willingly took damage.

“I told everyone exactly how this was going to happen,” Lentz said.

He continued, “I knew that I could take that jab, and I knew if I took a couple jabs I could get him to play my game. And that’s what happened.”

What about earlier? Why was Brooks able to get out of a previous guillotine choke attempt? Lentz said he made a conscious in-fight decision to release.

“I didn’t get the guillotine on purpose, because I knew,” Lentz said. “I had it. I knew I wasn’t going to waste it. I was going to let him roll out the first time, (let him) think that he knew how to get out. And then the second time I was going to lock that b*tch up, and he ain’t ever getting away.”

With the win over Brooks out of the way, Lentz isn’t forgetting about the words directed at him from ATT. And he said he’s ready to take on anyone from the gym.

“When it comes down to it, it was f*cked up. And there’s no two ways to put it,” Lentz said. “It’s f*cked up when your old family throws you under the bus and says you’re scared. Because I ain’t scared of Will Brooks. I ain’t scared of anyone at ATT.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/wzxZGNvdcWY5Ax2JtDXfTf/285469”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Lentz def. Brooks”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Justin Gaethje, Ali Abdelaziz and Andrew Simon

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Justin Gaethje, Ali Abdelaziz and Andrew Simon – all in studio.

Gaethje fights fellow “The Ultimate Fighter 26” head coach Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 on Dec. 2. Abdelaziz manages many of the sport’s top stars, and Simon is head of AXS TV Fights, home to LFA, CES MMA and other promotions.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie